BROWNSVILLE (January 7, 2012)—Several hundred mourners attended a funeral service Saturday in Brownsville for a middle school student shot by police after he pointed what was later identified as a pellet gun at officers.
Several hundred mourners packed a Catholic church in Brownsville, just a block from the home of 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez.
During the service, a priest urged students to learn from the death.
The Rev. Jorge Gomez spoke both in English and Spanish Saturday, saying he knows it's not easy to be a teenager, but it doesn't last forever and he wants other teens to "get out of trouble. Don't get lost."
Police were sent to Cummings Middle School Wednesday morning in response to a report that the eighth-grader had a gun.
Police say Gonzalez refused repeated requests to drop the weapon before he was shot twice in the torso.
His parents say lethal force was not necessary.
His burial in Buena Vista Cemetery in Brownsville was scheduled for immediately after the funeral.
Hundreds of people attended a wake for the eighth-grader Thursday night.
A long line of mourners filed past his open casket Thursday night at Holy Family Catholic Church where his stepmother, Noralva Gonzalez, sobbed as she embraced each visitor.
The Rev. Jorge Gomez apologized to the young people among the 400 mourners, saying "it is our fault as adults that the world is the way it is now."
Dozens of young teens wearing white shirts sat in the pews and lined the back wall of the church, then gathered outside and chanted the boy's name.